Upper Boat Studios

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Upper Boat Studios[1]
Upper Boat Studios is located in Rhondda Cynon Taf
Upper Boat Studios
Location within Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales
General information
Status Vacant
Type Television studio[1][2]
Architectural style Modern
Address Unit 1/2, Tonteg Road, Treforest Industrial Estate, Upper Boat, Pontypridd, CF37 5UA
Country Wales, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°34′33″N 3°18′00″W / 51.57583°N 3.30000°W / 51.57583; -3.30000 (Upper Boat Studios)Coordinates: 51°34′33″N 3°18′00″W / 51.57583°N 3.30000°W / 51.57583; -3.30000 (Upper Boat Studios)
Current tenants None
Opened 27 July 2006; 11 years ago (2006-07-27)[2][3]
Client BBC Wales[3]
Grounds 86,000 sq ft (7,990 m2)[3]
Known for Filming of Doctor Who[1][2][3]

Upper Boat Studios was a television studio complex leased to the BBC in mid-2006,[1] and formerly operated by BBC Wales.[3] It is located in Upper Boat,[2] a village on the outskirts of Pontypridd,[3] Rhondda Cynon Taf, near Cardiff in Wales. The studios, previously a seat belt manufacturing factory for the automotive industry,[1] were officially opened on 27 July 2006; 11 years ago (2006-07-27), by Welsh Enterprise Minister Andrew Davies,[2][3] for the purpose of producing Doctor Who, along with its related spin-off programmes.[2][3] The onsite cafe was called the 'Blue Box Cafe', referring to both its outside appearance, and as a reference to the TARDIS.[4][unreliable source?][not in citation given]

At ten times larger than BBC Wales existing site at Llandaff, the Doctor Who residency at Upper Boat Studios included the use of its six sound stages.[1] Other facilities at Upper Boat included a large props store, workshops, and video editing suites.[1]

By 2011, Doctor Who was the only programme still based at Upper Boat, following the move of several BBC Wales productions to its new permanent home at the new Roath Lock studios. Doctor Who itself relocated to Roath Lock throughout 2012,[1] with the last filming day at Upper Boat on 11 May 2012.[5][unreliable source?] The facility was not expected to be used as a studio again.[6][unreliable source?][not in citation given]

Despite the studio closure, production on Sherlock series 3 continued at the studios[1] until September 2013, making it the most recent production based there.[7][unreliable source?]


Productions based at Upper Boat Studios[edit]

title genre no. of
Doctor Who[1][3] science fiction drama 66 2006–2012[1]
Doctor Who Confidential 'making-of' documentary 60 2006–2011
  • moved from Unit Q2 in Newport
The Sarah Jane Adventures[1] science fiction children's drama 53 2006–2010
  • entire series produced at Upper Boat Studios[1]
Torchwood[1][3] science fiction drama 31 2006–2008
Torchwood Declassified 'making-of' documentary 27 2006–2008
  • moved to Los Angeles
Totally Doctor Who children's magazine programme 12 2007
Sherlock[9] crime drama 9 + pilot 2009–2013
Sarah Jane's Alien Files children's compilation programme 6 2010
  • entire series produced at Upper Boat Studios

Productions partially filmed at Upper Boat Studios[edit]

title genre no. of
Upstairs Downstairs costume drama 3 2010


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Current BBC production studios outside London > Roath Lock - Cardiff". TVStudioHistory.co.uk. Martin Kempton - History of British television studios. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "BBC Studios". DoctorWhoLocations.net. Doctor Who Locations Guide. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nick Dermody (27 July 2006). "Time Lord handed permanent home". BBC.co.uk. BBC Wales at BBC News. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  4. ^ "Arthurian Legend". Doctor Who Confidential. 15 May 2010. BBC Three. 
  5. ^ "Last day of Doctor Who filming at Upper Boat.." Edward Russell. Twitter. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "That's it, I'm afraid". Edward Russell. Twitter. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Still at Upper Boat Studios". Sherlockology. Twitter. 29 May 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "Work starts on BBC Wales drama village in Cardiff Bay". BBC.co.uk. BBC News. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Maggie Brown (3 December 2010). "Upstairs, Downstairs: the return of a classic". TheStage.co.uk. The Stage, The Stage Media Company Limited. Retrieved 30 May 2017.